Whitby Wolves grad first woman to work the lines in the OHL and AHL after historic weekend


Published November 15, 2021 at 2:57 pm

Kirsten Welsh got the first pre-season game off her to-do list September 30 and now she can cross off both the first woman to officiate an Ontario League game AND the first woman to work the lines at an American Hockey League game after a busy and historical weekend.

Welsh, a Whitby Wolves grad and former Robert Morris University captain, worked Friday’s Kitchener-Owen Sound game in the OHL and Saturday afternoon’s AHL match in Belleville between the Senators and Utica.

“It’s pretty incredible,” Welsh told a local television reporter in Kitchener prior to Friday’s game at the Memorial Auditorium. “It’s a super fun journey to be on.”

“I just really want to cherish this moment and not take it for granted. Just to see the impact this is going to have across the hockey community.”

Welsh, who hails from Blackstock (near Port Perry) attended the NHL Officiating Exposure Combine in Buffalo in the summer before joining the Ontario Hockey League.

She was one of ten female officials chosen to work AHL games this season. Katie Guay made history October 16 when she became the first woman to ref an AHL game.

Photo Matthew McCarthy

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